When your family member ages, it is common for us to start worrying about them.
- Are their basic needs being met?
- Should they be put in a care home?
- Can we count on those who are looking after them?
Sadly, these grounds for worry are justified. Examples of mistreatment are far too familiar for us to assume they don’t exist. One of the most prevalent forms of elder abuse is financial abuse. Today’s article will examine what precisely financial abuse is, who does it, how it happens, and what you can legally do to fix the problem.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse is a distinct mistreatment genre that includes theft, the illegal embezzlement, or possessions or misappropriation of funds of an older adult.
Often older folks have difficulty managing their resources, and so, they depend on others to help them. At this time, corrupt individuals attempt to take land, property, money, and goods through acts of intimidation and deception.
Who Could be Financially Exploiting your elder family member?
To discover if your loved one is being victimized financially, we first have to know who could possibly be causing the abuse. The accused could range from scammers continents away to close family members.
Many individuals are scared about the kind of care their loved ones will receive at nursing homes. However, some people forget to keep a proper eye on how that nursing home manages and handles the older individual’s finances.
Always be ready to match the level of cost of care to the attention given. If services and items show up on the monthly bill that you believe have never been given/performed, you must follow up with the relevant managers.
It is also essential to observe any new ‘best friends’ your family member may develop in the care home, especially regarding staff. Suppose the loved one begins adding these individuals into their will or buying expensive things for them. In that case, it could very easily be a case of intimidation, conning, or ‘honey-trap scamming.’
Many financial abuse cases occur between an older adult and their caretaker. Caretakers, who are loved ones or often relatives, are in a distinctly persuasive position to commit financial fraud.
With the victim’s trust in hand, the caregiver can gradually steal properties out of the older adult’s home. They can also use intimidation to get the older individual to sign away property, land, or bank accounts access. Guardians can also manipulate “power of attorney” and the last will layout.
An abusive caretaker can be a severe problem as they apparently have the inside track to all concerns regarding your loved one.
Scammers come in all sizes and shapes and from all over the world. Older adults are susceptive to them due to the continuous developments in technology and the potential for a mental keen-ness loss.
Some of the more apparent scammers come in the telemarketing field. Often cellphone-scams target older adults who they believe they can scare or coerce. Watch for razor-sharp increases in unusual checks being sent or for a check of the exorbitant amount being sent to an unknown location/person. Always keep following up with your loved one about these economic decisions and keep a proper watch for anything that seems too-good-to-be-true or dishonest.
Older adults are also susceptible to debit/credit card hijacking or other account infiltrating. It can be hard for anyone to keep their numbers and identity safe, and older adults often have trouble keeping up with accounts, technology, numbers, etc.
Legal Recourse if Abuse is Found
All states in the United States and many other countries worldwide have adopted some sort of adult protective assistance law that allows state agencies to offer remedies to victims of elder abuse. Many nations generally have an APS agency intended to address and prevent problems the elderly may face. These government bodies focus on maintaining a system for receiving mistreatment reports, investigating cases, and providing assistance or protection to the older adult rather than punishing the perpetrator.
If you sense foul play regarding your loved one, don’t wait to act. Gather as much documentation and information as possible about the abuse being administered. Find an attorney in your area specializing in these types of cases and do your best to stay many steps ahead of the alleged scammer.
Don’t confront the abuser directly until you are confident you have the legal upper-hand. But more importantly, ensure you have a legal upper hand as soon as possible.